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J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2(1), 5;

Influences on the Fabrication of Diffractive Optical Elements by Injection Compression Molding

Institute for Micro Assembly Technologies, Hahn-Schickard, Allmandring 9b, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Institute for Microintegration, University of Stuttgart, Allmandring 9b, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Polymer optics are widely used in various applications, replacing traditional glass lenses. The ability to create free-form and micro-structured optics, as well as fast replication, gives them major advantages over traditional glass lenses. However, the fabrication of complex optical components requires full process control and understanding of influencing factors on the quality of the polymer optical parts. In this work, a curved diffractive optical element (DOE) is fabricated using injection compression molding. Different gate designs were evaluated and the movement of the compression stamper was optimized to obtain good filling behavior. The process stability was analyzed and improved by controlling the melt temperature precisely. Finally, the molding parameters were optimized, focusing on the mold temperature, melt temperature and compression force. Curved diffractive optical elements were replicated with feature sizes of 1.6 μm. The experiments showed that all aspects of the molding process have to be controlled perfectly to produce complex polymer optics. High mold temperatures and compression force are necessary to replicate micro-structured features. The work presents a broad investigation and description of the fabrication process and their influences. View Full-Text
Keywords: injection compression molding; diffractive optical elements; micro-structures injection compression molding; diffractive optical elements; micro-structures

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Roeder, M.; Schilling, P.; Hera, D.; Guenther, T.; Zimmermann, A. Influences on the Fabrication of Diffractive Optical Elements by Injection Compression Molding. J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2, 5.

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